Gregg Marshall would like to point out that his team is getting some love. - Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Creighton, Gonzaga and Memphis continue to be ranked, but the real news is what is happening outside the Top 25, where several mid-major teams are starting to get noticed.
Indiana and Louisville are still 1-2. Big deal.
What we care about right now is happening a little further down the rankings, as in out of them entirely.
That isn't to say that Creighton moving up to No. 14 isn't impressive. The Bluejays have been continually living up to some pretty high expectations, and before long could crack the Top 10 -- a spot that at least one preseason magazine thought they belonged in from the start. And maybe most shocking given last season's struggles, they are doing it with defense as much as offense.
We also noticed that Gonzaga and Memphis swapped spots in the poll this week. This is even though the Tigers didn't do anything to warrant dropping other than win. Gonzaga has been impressive so far, but it isn't as if Memphis hasn't been just as good. Maybe it is the slow start that the Tigers have had in their wins. Or maybe it is just early season randomness (and the fact that the Tigers haven't played anyone of note yet).
But what really caught our eye are the number of mid-major teams that are starting to creep onto some of the ballots. You can start with Wichita State, who although they have played maybe a weaker schedule that Memphis, has gotten the benefit of the doubt when it comes to integrating all of the new pieces. They picked up 13 points in the latest poll.
Then there is St. Mary's who is right on track behind several strong games by Matthew Dellavedova. The Gaels earned nine points. Ohio has decimated opponents, and with a real team effort, not just on the back of D.J. Cooper. Seven points for the Bobcats this go around.
Bucknell (5-0 including wins over Purdue and New Mexico State, 5 points), Murray State (a run to the title game in Charleston that just fell short against No. 23 Colorado, 4 points), and Northern Iowa (3-0 with a huge game against Louisville on Turkey Day, 2 points) also received some love this week.
It is still early, but this is a nice trend that the number of mid-major teams picking up votes is increasing. People are paying attention and that is a lot when it comes to these polls. Now if we could just get them to do the same thing in the committee room come NCAA Tournament selection time.
The complete AP Top 25 is listed here.
|16||North Carolina State||3-1||600||6|
|25||San Diego State||2-1||98||25|
|Others Receiving Votes:Minnesota 93, Wisconsin 60, Pittsburgh 43, Notre Dame 40, Texas 25, Saint Joseph's 24, Florida State 15, Alabama 13, Marquette 13, Wichita State 13, Saint Mary's 9, Kansas State 7, Ohio 7, Xavier 7, New Mexico 6, Bucknell 5, Murray State 4, Northern Iowa 2, Tennessee 2, Maryland 1|